Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    A Bayesian approach to understanding the key factors influencing temporal variability in stream water quality: a case study in the Great Barrier Reef catchments
    Liu, S ; Ryu, D ; Webb, JA ; Lintern, A ; Guo, D ; Waters, D ; Western, AW ( 2021-01-12)
    Abstract. Stream water quality is highly variable both across space and time. Water quality monitoring programs have collected a large amount of data that provide a good basis to investigate the key drivers of spatial and temporal variability. Event-based water quality monitoring data in the Great Barrier Reef catchments in northern Australia provides an opportunity to further our understanding of water quality dynamics in sub-tropical and tropical regions. This study investigated nine water quality constituents, including sediments, nutrients and salinity, with the aim of: 1) identifying the influential environmental drivers of temporal variation in flow event concentrations; and 2) developing a modelling framework to predict the temporal variation in water quality at multiple sites simultaneously. This study used a hierarchical Bayesian model averaging framework to explore the relationship between event concentration and catchment-scale environmental variables (e.g., runoff, rainfall and groundcover conditions). Key factors affecting the temporal changes in water quality varied among constituent concentrations, as well as between catchments. Catchment rainfall and runoff affected in-stream particulate constituents, while catchment wetness and vegetation cover had more impact on dissolved nutrient concentration and salinity. In addition, in large dry catchments, antecedent catchment soil moisture and vegetation had a large influence on dissolved nutrients, which highlights the important effect of catchment hydrological connectivity on pollutant mobilisation and delivery.
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    Improving the representation of cropland sites in the Community Land Model (CLM) version 5.0
    Boas, T ; Bogena, H ; Grünwald, T ; Heinesch, B ; Ryu, D ; Schmidt, M ; Vereecken, H ; Western, A ; Hendricks-Franssen, H-J (Copernicus Publications, 2020)
    The incorporation of a comprehensive crop module in land surface models offers the possibility to study the effect of agricultural land use and land management changes on the terrestrial water, energy and biogeochemical cycles. It may help to improve the simulation of biogeophysical and biogeochemical processes on regional and global scales in the framework of climate and land use change. In this study, the performance of the crop module of the Community Land Model version 5 (CLM5) was evaluated at point scale with site specific field data focussing on the simulation of seasonal and inter-annual variations in crop growth, planting and harvesting cycles, and crop yields as well as water, energy and carbon fluxes. In order to better represent agricultural sites, the model was modified by (1) implementing the winter wheat subroutines after Lu et al. (2017) in CLM5; (2) implementing plant specific parameters for sugar beet, potatoes and winter wheat, thereby adding these crop functional types (CFT) to the list of actively managed crops in CLM5; (3) introducing a cover cropping subroutine that allows multiple crop types on the same column within one year. The latter modification allows the simulation of cropping during winter months before usual cash crop planting begins in spring, which is a common agricultural management technique in humid and sub-humid regions. We compared simulation results with field data and found that both the parameterization of the CFTs, as well as the winter wheat subroutines, led to a significant simulation improvement in terms of energy fluxes, leaf area index (LAI), net ecosystem exchange (RMSE reduction for latent and sensible heat by up to 57 % and 59 % respectively) and crop yield (up to 87 % improvement in winter wheat yield prediction) compared with default model results. The cover cropping subroutine yielded a substantial improvement in representation of field conditions after harvest of the main cash crop (winter season) in terms of LAI curve and latent heat flux (reduction of winter time RMSE for latent heat flux by 42 %). We anticipate that our model modifications offer opportunities to improve yield predictions, to study the effects of large-scale cover cropping on energy fluxes, soil carbon and nitrogen pools, and soil water storage in future studies with CLM5.